iMac users with Firewire - Step inside - need a solution

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aliensporebomb, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    So, in the last 24 hours I've lost 3 terabytes on two drives that were inside a OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro. I have this connected via Firewire 800.

    I'd boot the Mac and the AL Pro would "click" at boot but the drives would never mount.

    I thought perhaps it was the drives themselves so I ended up buying a new 3TB mechanism last night and formatted it inside the Elite-AL Pro and ended up copying a lot of the remaining data I had to the new mechanism. Everything seemed fine.

    This afternoon I got home and the the drive wouldn't mount and indeed I managed to find out from Drive Genius that the drive was failing and recommended to back everything up before the drive failed altogether! It hadn't even been installed for 24 hours!

    I shut everything down and placed the new drive in a USB drive case I already had and it pretty much was unreadable. Sigh. All that data gone in a flash.

    I was able to format it but it went from over 2 TB to 800 gigabytes of available storage - that's not good - I shut everything down again and returned the drive because the AL-Pro seems to be killing drives.

    So I have a Corei7 iMac but my storage solutions are USB2 and Firewire 800 or Ethernet. That's it. If I get rid of this Mac altogether I could concievably go thunderbolt but that involves a large cash outlay I'm not prepared to make at this time.

    I'm still bummed out my old G5 tower died otherwise I would have found a way to use that as a drive storage case but I'm having terrible luck with mass storage.

    Anyone want to recommend drive cases that actually work over time?
  2. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2012
    I've heard a lot of horror stories with external enclosures and I witness some myself. If you need to only host 2 drives, I'm sure you could find something good that supports two 3TB in raid 1. At least if the enclosure dies on you, you can re-use any of the two working drive.

    For larger storage needs (I have 24-25TB), I use cheap computers which cost less than large storage enclosures.

    For smaller needs, something similar to this could be good, you can connect to this one via network:
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'll offer a $30 solution.

    Get a USB3/SATA docking station, and try the drives in that before you write them off.

    I wonder if your problems are with that particular enclosure, and not with any of the drives.

    Here are a few docks that come to mind:

    Try these, and you may discover that the "dead" drives suddenly come alive....
  4. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Ugh. :( It really sucks to learn the hard way that RAID is not a backup, but.. it's not.

    For the future, I highly recommend:

    - Not using RAID as a backup (in fact it's better to have two single drives and back up one to the other periodically)

    - Only use RAID enclosures based on Linux-RAID or other open-source, standard mechanisms that you can recover from in another computer if the enclosure dies.

    Data loss is a horrible thing; I'm so paranoid about my data (especially my photos) I keep two separate backups; one at home and one offsite on my server at the office.

    Do also try the external dock idea mentioned above; you may get lucky.

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